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Question: Backpacking the Enchanted Gor ge
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“One trip I have yet to take in the High Sierra is the adventure down the Enchanted Gorge from Ionian Basin. Has anyone here done this? If so, did you go back up via Goddard Creek, or bushwhack to M.F. Kings River? Did you do any fishing? How did you like the trip? Any suggstions? Any trip pics? What did you have for lunch? I've been wanting to do this trip for a while now. I read the original account of Theodore Solomons taking this trip many many moons ago.”
“what was the question again?
never been there, can't help ya”
“is this the hike in backpacker magazine this month? looks like a great one. they give gps tracks of the whole hike.
oh, and you are nominated to pay for my flight up there so i can go as well....sorry, though break”
“Buck, I'm sure you're aware of the difficulty of the trip. My old boss was a hardcore ex-marine type who was also a climber... He said he'd never do it again.
I've descended the Murro Blanco and also would never do it again. Be prepared for a less than 1/2 mph pace where every step requires effort. Talus slopes, brush, brush and talus, backtracking, falling in the stream...
Strat, if BPer is profiling that trail, they're crazy, it's a place you warn people about rather then invite them to try.”
“is it in yellowstone?”
“No....the one Buck is talking about is in the Sierra.”
“wow, what a photo!! man that looks awesome. When are you going Buck?”
“Thanks for the responses!
Hey DunkŪ, I'm doin' the Muro Blanco this summer, starting at Cedar Grove in Kings Canyon, up over Granite Pass, through the Lakes Basin along Cirque Crest, down and up to Bench Lake, and then down the Muro Blanco canyon back to Cedar Grove. I'm looking forward to it!
Wind Walker, thanks for the link! I've read Finch's account a few times, it only stoked my desire to do the Enchanted Gorge! YAAAA! I first read about the Enchanted Gorge from the original Theodore Solomons account in a very old Sierra Club bulletin that was on microfiche at the Sac State library. It was an awesome account and I have never seen it since, and I'm surprised it's not online somewhere. I hear it's especially beautiful where Disappearing Creek cascades into Goddard Creek. I then plan on going up Goddard Creek and explore all those wild lakes at the headwaters.
stratdewd, I don't recall reading it in Backpacker Mag, but it may be in there, I'll hafta check!
Hey nashvillehiker, I may go this summer, but I've got so many trips planned already it might hafta wait until the following summer. WORK SUCKS! I just wanna bang on my drums all day.”
“Todd Rundgren & Utopia
Give yourself a couple days at Bench Lk. I'm sure you've seen pictures, the reflection of Arrow Pk is incredible. are you familiar with the old Photopoint website? I received picture of the day from a reflection of the Cirque Crest in Bench Lk, but I have better pics of the Arrow reflection. Early morning light is best. The fishing is pretty damn good too. I'll be checking out Bench Lk again this summer in early August.”
Hiking Enchanted Gorge
“Ok now I have been down through Enchanted Gorge. From the Ionian Basin all the way to the South Fork of the Kings River.
It is by far one of the most amazing trips I have ever been on and one of the most adventurous trips. You have to take that into context that I happened down the gorge because I was lost and didn't know where I was nor where I was heading nor what was in front of me. That is a once in a life-time experience because I'll probably never get caught like that again.
We went (that is my lost guide- blamed it on the compass :) the first week of Sept. 2003.
The gorge is "doable". It took about two days to go from the Ionin Basin down to the south fork of the King's River. If you don't mind sleeping on the rocks, it is worth your time to take the trip.
Besides the normal cautions of treking through remote back country such as that, we did come across a rattle snake just past where Dissapearing River runs into Goddard Creek.
Our trek took us to Daughtery Meadows and over to Cedar Grove (actually we hitched a ride from Roads End to Cedar Grove). Yeah some of you that watched the news last year, might just see this as the story of the two men and a dog that were lost in the Siarra's :)
I have a couple of pics of the gorge- one shot that is amazing and my favorite is from the end of Chasm Lake at the very top of Enchanted Gorge. They are in the megs in size, so I will not upload them. Besides, pics just don't capture it.
I would like to go back some day and circle around the Goddard side. This time taking it slower without the pressure of trying to make it back to civilization before the food ran out.
If you do end up going, let me know what you think of it.”
“Hey matrim, thanks for the post! I would be very interested in hearing more about your adventure! Did you have a dog with you the whole time? You mentioned being lost... where did you guys think you were, what was your original destination, and where did you take a wrong turn? If you don't wish to divulge here, e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. This kind of stuff fascinates me! What an adventure!”
“We were supposed to cross over from the John Muir Pass to Martha Lake, but got to talking and ended up crossing the ridge in front of the Black Giant then down into the Ionian Basin. The topo map we were using just happened to end at the ridge that follows the John Muir Pass. We had the maps that would take us around Marth and Wanda Lake and back down Goddard Canyon. We walked off our map and didn't know it. A bunch of mistakes that shouldn't have happened- we got careless. My excuse is - it was my first backpack trip.
The intention was to take Evolution Basin up and come down Goddard Canyon.
Everytime I look at the picture of Enchanted Gorge from the top..I can still remember the feeling in my gut of "we're walking down that?!". There were some parts that we really had to go careful around and several waterfalls we had to navigate around. But only once did we have to backtrack any distance to take the other side of the creek. The water was low which allowed us to just follow the creek quite often.
The funny thing is- we are looking for a spot to go again. That trip made me an addict. I can't wait to get back into the mountains again. Of course, my wife is saying I have to raise my life insurance ;)”
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